Portland, OR –Portland antifa have refused to cooperate with police who are working to solve the murder of one of their comrades.
Antifa is short for antifascist, a decentralized group of authoritarian leftists with a history of violence against people with centrist or right-wing political views.
Portland police received a report of a motor vehicle crash and gunfire in the area of Davis Street and Northeast 9th Avenue shortly after midnight on Saturday, KATU reported.
They arrived to find that someone crashed an SUV into the side of the Oregon Democratic Party building, which is also located near Cider Riot, an antifa hangout spot.
Investigators found evidence indicating that someone had fired a gun into the vehicle.
The SUV had been abandoned prior to the officers’ arrival.
A short while later, police discovered that 23-year-old antifa Sean Kealiher had been dropped off at a local hospital, KATU reported.
Kealiher later died of blunt-force trauma, and his death was ruled as a homicide.
He had allegedly been hit by the SUV prior to the crash, OPB reported.
Police initially detained the friends who brought Kealiher to the hospital, but they have since been released, The Oregonian reported.
The Rose City Antifa took to Twitter in the wake of the incident, and declared that their “sources” told them that Kealiher’s death “was not related to fascist activity.”
“We also want to remind our community that police and state are unreliable in times of crisis, both in their responses and information they share,” the antifa group added in a subsequent tweet.
Portland Police Sergeant Kevin Allen said that the investigation into Kealiher’s murder is ongoing.
“Detectives will examine evidence we have now, talking to witnesses, seeking witnesses, and trying to get more information from them, not only about what happened at the scene of the crime, but what led up to it,” Sgt. Allen told KATU.
“Homicide is one of the most important types of crimes we investigate,” he continued. “We approach every homicide investigation the same way. We gather information as best we can, determine who is responsible, arrest, and file charges where appropriate.”
Investigators urged those with information about what occurred to come forward, but the Pacific Northwest Antifascist Workers Collective (PNWAWC) ordered people to do the exact opposite.
“Dont let the press platform off this and dont help the pigs build cases,” the group tweeted. “Consider not telling stories on public fb pages/organizing pages [keep it in the community].”
“Sean/Armenios family has asked that we not talk to the press,” the PNWAWC added. “No media response at all. none. no talking to them period. please respect this.”
On Sunday, Portland reporter Andy Ngo posted prior footage of Kealiher arguing with and threatening a journalist.
“It’s your f–king fault someone’s facing a felony f–king charge!” the antifa yelled in the video. “You know what’s gonna happen the next time you do that? I will break your f–king camera, and I have no qualms doing that.”
Portland mayoral candidate Sarah Iannarone’s campaign director, protester Gregory McKelvey, said that Kealiher has been an active anarchist since he was 13 years old, OPB reported.
“Every single protest, he’s going to be there,” McKelvey told the news outlet. “He didn’t care what your ideology was — if you were standing against the police or the state or authority in general, he was going to be there.”
McKelvey said Kealiher was known fondly by his nickname, “13,” because that was the age he was when he attended his first Occupy Portland protest in 2011.
“He was known as the little kid that was camping at Occupy,” McKelvey told OPB.
Mayoral candidate and Don’t Shoot Portland founder Teressa Raiford said that Kealiher was a “beautiful soul,” and that his death was “a terrible blow to Portland’s antifascist community,” OPB reported.
“A kid, his age, living life that way…that’s incredible,” Raiford gushed.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler tweeted that Kealiher’s murder was “alarming and heartbreaking.”
“Our deepest sympathies go out to family and friends of the victim,” Wheeler added.
A fundraising campaign established to pay for the antifa member’s funeral costs has raised over $8,400 so far.
According to court records, Kealiher was convicted of interfering with a police officer in 2015, and was sentenced to 15 days in jail, OPB reported.